Hungry Generation Poet Malay Roy Choudhury Passes Away

Poet Malay Roy Choudhury || Photo: Collected

Poet Malay Roy Choudhury || Photo: Collected

Malay Roy Chowdhury, a renowned poet and one of the founding figures of the Hungry Generation literary movement, has passed away at the age of 84 today.

"My father, Malay Roychoudhury, passed away this morning, and it is with deep sorrow and great sadness that I share this news. May his memory be a source of blessings, and may his soul find eternal peace," a message on the poet's Facebook account announced.

The cause of his death remains unknown.

Malay, who authored more than 70 books, was born in Chhatna, West Bengal, into the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family, the erstwhile owners of the lands that would later become part of Kolkata.

His father, Gouchaprama Roy Choudhury, was a photographer, and his mother, Amita, hailed from a progressive 19th-century Bengali Renaissance family.

Malay's grandfather, Laksmikanta Roy Choudhury, was a photographer in Kolkata and had received training from Rudyard Kipling's father, who served as the curator of the Lahore Museum.

In the early 1960s, Malay co-founded Hungryalism, an artistic movement that emerged in response to established literary and political authorities. The movement derived its English name from Geoffrey Chaucer's phrase "in the sowre hungry tyme" and was influenced by Oswald Spengler's work, "The Decline of the West."

However, the movement lost its momentum in 1965 when the West Bengal government issued arrest warrants for eleven Hungryalists, including Malay and his brother Samir Roy Choudhury. Some members, such as Subhash Ghosh and Saileshwar Ghosh, testified against Roy Choudhury in Kolkata's Bankshall Court. He was imprisoned for a month due to his poem "Stark Electric Jesus," as ruled by the Kolkata Bankshal Court in 1966.

Nevertheless, he was later acquitted by the Kolkata High Court in 1967.

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